HomeAdviceAll about Apple Privacy Update 2023

All about Apple Privacy Update 2023

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In previous updates, such as iOS 14 and iOS 15, Apple introduced several privacy-focused features like App Tracking Transparency (ATT), which requires apps to request permission before tracking user data across other apps and websites.

Additionally, features like Mail Privacy Protection were implemented to safeguard user privacy within the Mail app, making it harder for senders to track email opens and IP addresses.

Apple’s commitment to user privacy often involves restricting the collection and usage of personal data by third-party apps and services, which might impact various marketing and advertising practices, including email marketing. These changes can affect how marketers track user engagement, measure campaign performance, and personalize their marketing efforts.

What does this mean for email marketing reads?

All email marketing relies on a very small tracking pixel being included in each campaign, this is tiny and cannot be seen. If a user opens the email, it triggers the tracking pixel to report back to the software that a read has taken place.

With recent IOS updates (and similar for Android), if a user has Apple Mail Privacy Protection enabled, then Apple will preload this pixel, even if the email hasn’t been opened. This activity would be therefore recorded as an interaction.

If the viewer has Privacy Protection enabled, this will also cause the viewer’s IP address to be obscured. This means that geo-location services would not be visible.

Are there further implications?

In addition to tracker blocking, the recent changes make it difficult to rely on other metrics such as showing the device used by the recipient to interact with an email received.

Historically it has always been possible to record the device that the viewer had used, with the recent update Apple (and others may follow) has scrambled this data, to provide a generic ‘Mozilla v5.0’ for all device (and OS) reporting. This means that you may see an increase in Mozilla viewing and generic devices.

How can campaign metrics be measured successfully?

For users who have enabled Privacy Protection, it means that viewing stats such as reads, geo-location and viewing devices may now be distorted.

If these stats are unable to provide an entirely accurate picture, then it means refocusing on campaign metrics. To ascertain the success of email marketing campaigns, it is advisable to concentrate on other key metrics, such as clicks, bounces and unsubscribes.

A/B testing is a great way to understand how users interact with different campaigns. This can be done by trying different send times, calls to action, click/button placement, subject header lines and sender details. All of these will be a key factor in measuring key metrics and identifying successful strategies.

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